Harborough professor stages Jaws day

Professor Ian Hunter
Professor Ian Hunter

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... Jaws, the 40th Anniversary all-day Symposium, arrived.

And it’s all thanks to Market Harborough-based film expert Professor Ian Hunter.

The famously frightening 1975 film was the subject of an academic day of analysis and discussion yesterday (Weds) at De Montfort University, Leicester, which made national headlines

The day dedicated to “the terrifying motion picture” featured academics from 10 universities and a Skype interview with Carl Gottlieb, the film’s screenwriter.

“I came up with the idea for the Symposium because I’ve been a Jaws obsessive all my life,” admitted Dr Hunter, reader in film in the University’s school of Media and Communication.

“I threw together a very small event, and it grew somewhat, partly because there’s an awful lot of love for the film out there, and partly because the film critic Mark Kermode wrote a long piece about the film, featuring the Symposium, in The Observer.”

For those that don’t know, the Steven Spielberg-directed film is about a man-eating shark that terrorises a resort town that, awkwardly, is chasing the tourist dollars.

It’s not just a popular film, it’s also credited with being innovative for its “family blockbuster” style and marketing.

It’s also been mined for hidden meaning, from Freudian themes to Watergate analogy.

But Dr Hunter summed up: “For me, it remains one of the truly great and lasting classics of American cinema; an incredibly well-made film.”